In just a few days, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will face off against Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, the superstar that Luck replaced in Indianapolis.
However, that’s not how Luck sees it, via ESPN:
I never viewed it as replacing Peyton. I just viewed it as an opportunity to play quarterback in the NFL. It just so happens one of the greats of all time was here before me.
The two quarterbacks’ histories are intertwined far beyond both being first overall picks for the Indianapolis Colts. Luck’s father, Oliver, played quarterback for the New Orleans Saints and backed up Manning’s father, Archie, in 1982. Luck got his first chance to meet Manning in eighth grade, when he got invited to the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana.
According to Luck, per ESPN:
That was very fun and a great way to meet Peyton and Eli and talk to Archie. There was that link between our fathers. [Peyton] has always been very helpful and kind. They’re such a classy family. It’s fun to know them.
Even though there could be animosity between the two from Luck essentially replacing Manning, the two have stayed friends and admire each other’s play.
“[Luck's] a heck of a quarterback,” said Manning. “He sure did have a great first season and certainly used that first season to his advantage, and he’s off to a heck of a start this year.”
Last year, Luck set NFL rookie records for yards, attempts, and 300-yard passing games. He also lead the Colts to a 11-5 year.
“He [Manning] is a great role model for guys my age growing up, younger players, just how to play the position, how to handle yourself on and off the field,” Luck said. “We always really enjoyed watching all the Mannings play. I definitely hold him in the highest respect.”